Hatchet Book Summary

Hatchet Plot Summary Beginning

Hatchet Book Summary: Hatchet describes the tale of 13-year-old Brian Robeson and his victorious effort to survive solely in the forest. When the novel starts, Brian’s parents have newly divorced, an incident that Brian finds hurtful. So Brian boards a small plane to meet his father in Canada, where his father works. The first summer which he will spend with his father alone since the divorce.

Brian Robeson and the pilot are on the aircraft. Unfortunately, Brian doesn’t know the man’s name, and they do not converse until they have taken off and held in the sky a while. The pilot then explains the Fundamentals of flying a plane and lets Brian practice.¬†(These lines are summarized¬†Hatchet Summary Chapter 1.)

The pilot (Jim or Jake) seems to be experiencing rising pain in his shoulder, arm, and stomach. In the beginning, Brian doesn’t think it is severe, but as the pilot starts bouncing in his seat, it becomes clear that he suffers a heart attack. The heart attack ends, and the pilot is dead in the plane. Brian panics and then realizes he has to fly the aircraft. After some struggle, he overcomes the situation and controls the airplane.

Brian hasn’t enough knowledge about most of the instruments, but he finds the radio and calls for help. Unfortunately, he can only contact someone briefly, just long enough to inform them that no one can operate the plane before the connection disconnect. Brian calls for help again and again for many hours. Ultimately, he decides that he’ll have to land the plane. After a while, the plane’s engines stop.

Brian does the best he can to fly the airplane. Finally, he turns the gliding plane toward the lake, thinking it might do less harm.

He crashes into some trees, breaking the plane, which lands in the lake. Brian tears himself out of the seatbelt scrambles out of the airplane and swims for the surface. He approaches the shore and comes out. While unconscious, he dreams of something that passed before his father’s divorce, when he saw his mother loving a man other than his father, which he denominates the “Secret.”

Hatchet Book Summary Climax

Recovering, he wakes up on the bank of the lake. In the wilderness, he is lonely. Mosquitos teem all over him. As he gets a craving, he understands he will have to get the attention of himself. He checks his luggage and then memorizes his English professor Perpich’s advice to stay motivated and believe in their strengths. He makes a shelter against a stone and then searches for food, finding some berry bushes. He eats a lot of them and preserves more for later.

Brian wakes up sick from the berries. He looks for better food and finds some raspberries, eating them more methodically so he won’t get sick again. While eating, he sees a bear, but the animal does not attack him. That night something crawls into a shelter with him, but he can’t tell what it is because of darkness.

He tries to kick it away by shooting his hatchet at it, but he misses, and the hatchet strikes the rock wall, shooting off sparks. The creature stabs his leg and leaves. It’s a porcupine, and Brian feels its quills in his leg, which is now in pain. He spends a lot of time kicking them out.

(These lines are describing the Chapter 4 Hatchet Summary)

Brian learns to build a fire using sparks he makes with his hatchet. That night, after lighting the fire, he hears something sliding across the sand outside. The following day, he detects a turtle onto the shore, crawling to lay eggs. Brian eats some turtle eggs raw in the breakfast and preserves the rest.

While cleaning up his camp, he realizes how much he’s changed. He is more conscious of the wilderness, and his efforts are more helpful. For example, he notices there are fish in the lake but can’t catch them at first. So he makes a spear and tries to stab them, but that doesn’t work, so he sets out to make a bow and arrow. While he is creating tools for fishing, a plane flies overhead.

He runs back to camp to signal the fire, but the plane flies away without seeing him. Brian falls into a deep state of despair and feels as if he wants to die. He decides to intersect his arms with his hatchet but opens up, then blows a wakeful night. Tomorrow he wakes up discovers his disappointment about the plane has “cut him down and made him new.” He also vows that he will live and “not let death in again.”

Weeks pass and Brian transforms into a brand-new person. His awareness and talent develop; he is at rest in the wilderness. He keeps going mistakes, but he keeps his fire going and has made a bow and arrow that operates. He cooks the caught fish over the fire regularly. Then, one night a skunk enters his cottage, and when it sprinkles him, it blinds for a while.

The longer he’s in the wilderness, the more he knows essential: food and shelter. So he makes his protection more secure and finds a shelf he can use to store food. He architects the plan and makes a small pond, and stocks it with fish.

His hunting skill upgrades as he learns how to see birds in the bushes, eventually catching and cooking one. He also knows to kill rabbits, which gives him another food source.

While Brian is hunting, a moose attacks him. First, it attacks him, pushes him with its head, and throws him in the lake. Then, when he tries to escape, it strikes again, driving him underwater.

It wounds his ribs, and he can barely make it back to the shelter. Then, just as he arrives, another disaster strikes as a tornado hits. It tears his refuge apart and scatters his possessions. Brian is disappointed but defiant. Wilderness has made him confident so that he can handle whatever problem comes. Hence, he begins to rebuild his shelter right away.

The next day, Brian sees the hurricane has raised a portion of the plane out of the water. He remembers there’s a survival kit on the plane.

If he wants it, he’ll have to go into the lake to get it. So he builds a boat and goes out to the plane. Firstly, he is unable to get in and is very frustrated. But when he slams his fist on the plane, he realizes that the metal covering is thin. So he starts to make a hole in the plane’s side with his hatchet but accidentally drops the hatchet.

It goes deep into the lake. He has to dive deep repeatedly into the murky lake bottom to recover his beneficial hatchet, but he succeeds. When he restores, he uses the hatchet to chop the plane wall wider and goes inside. He finds the survival backpack but also sees the dead innocent pilot’s skull. He pulls the survival bag to the top of the water and slowly moves it home. It’s massive, and he’s tired, so he takes many hours to bring it back to his shelter.

Hatchet Book Summary Ending 

When he uncovers the survival package the next day, he finds gadgets, weapons, clothing, and an ample food supply.

He realizes this changes everything, making survival in the woods much more straightforward. He also finds an emergency transmitter. He tries to turn it on, but it doesn’t do anything, making him think it broke in the plane crash. He makes himself a good dinner from the freeze-dried food, but while he’s eating it, he hears a plane.

The transmitter has worked. The small plane’s pilot heard it and arrived to investigate. Once the man comes, he recognizes Brian from the rescue broadcasts about him. Brian has survived at the lake for 54 days. He transformed into a new life forever. But, unfortunately, he can never tell his father about his mother’s infidelity.

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